Genealogy Gems: News from the Fort Wayne Library, No. 36, February 28, 2007
From: Genealogy Gems (
Date: Wed, 28 Feb 2007 20:09:10 -0800 (PST)
Genealogy Gems:  News from the Fort Wayne Library
No. 36, February 28, 2007

In this issue:
*An Anniversary . . . and Other Important Dates!
*The Wilbur H. Siebert Collection
*Peeking at Potentates: Masonic Records at the Genealogy Center
*Countdown to Conference 2007
*March Madness--Genealogy Style
*Preservation Tip of the Month
*Area Calendar of Events
*Driving Directions to the Library
*Parking at the Library
*Queries for the Department

For staff development and training, the entire Main Library, including
the Genealogy Center, will be closed from 9A to 2P on Friday, March 9,
2007.  Please make a note of this.  The Genealogy Center will be
re-open at 2P on March 9th and be open normal hours the rest of the
weekend.  Again, the Main Library will be closed for one half day on
March 9, 2007 from 9A to 2P.

An Anniversary . . . and Other Important Dates!
by Curt B. Witcher
We're celebrating an anniversary!  We have been in our brand new
facility for one month!  And what an extraordinary month it has been!
It is wonderful to have such comfortable research space with such
great technology for the many genealogists who have used our
collection over the years.  It is neat to see so many new faces also
stopping by just to "check us out" and see what this "family history
thing" is all about.  And it is fantastic to welcome the monthly
programs of the Allen County Genealogical Society and the meetings of
its Computer Interest Group back to the Main Library.

If you haven't yet planned your trip to the library's Genealogy
Center, this month's e-zine should tempt you to make some plans now.
We have our own version of March madness--an inviting line-up of
programs in the middle of the month.  We have more information about
the Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference this August 15-18
in Fort Wayne.  A really strong program of knowledgeable speakers
combined with outstanding networking opportunities really make that
particular week golden for genealogists and family historians.  More
information is below.

As the weather begins to thaw, warm-up your research by taking
advantage of some of our program offerings, and using the vast and
growing resources of our collection.

The Wilbur H. Siebert Collection
by Elaine M. Kuhn
Researchers with an interest in the workings of the Underground
Railroad will want to take a look at the Wilbur H. Siebert Collection,
available on microfilm in the Genealogy Center. Wilbur H. Siebert was
a professor of history at Ohio State University for many years. He
began his research in the early 1890s by sending out questionnaires to
individuals who may have had knowledge of the Underground Railroad.
Siebert himself retraced the routes of the Underground Railroad and
visited many of the former stations. He also conducted numerous
interviews, all along taking copious notes that eventually became
volumes of information.

Organized by state, the collection consists of sixteen microfilm rolls
of correspondences, newspaper clippings, magazine articles and
chapters from published sources. Anti-slavery pamphlets, copies of
slavery laws, reports from abolitionist societies, and related
material are also found within the collection. Many of the letters
included in the collection contain first hand accounts from former
slaves, neighbors to Underground Railroad stations, and from people
whose families actually participated in helping slaves flee to Canada.
The collection also contains a number of photographs and illustrations
of former slaves, Underground Railroad workers and their homes, and
other individuals who were active in the abolitionist movement.

Although an every-name index currently does not exist for the entire
collection, there are a few finding aids available. A descriptive
catalog of the microfilm can be found in the Genealogy Center at call
number 977.1 Oh3aw. An every-name index covering the Indiana section
of the collection is available online at Selected
images from the Siebert collection can be viewed at
The sixteen rolls of microfilm comprising the Siebert collection are
located in the Genealogy Center's microtext area in drawer 61-B-2.

Peeking at Potentates: Masonic Records at the Genealogy Center
by Delia Cothrun Bourne
Between 1850 and 1950, hundreds of societies were founded in the
United States as our ancestors tried to create networks of friends and
associates. Of course, the Freemasons have been here in America since
the 1700s, and although their history has been distorted in film and
fiction, the histories and records of state and local lodges can be
useful to genealogical researchers.

The Genealogy Center has a variety of material for researchers of
Masonic ancestors. A good early history is Steven Bullock's
"Revolutionary brotherhood: Freemasonry and the transformation of the
American Social Order, 1730-1840" (973 B87R). State and local lodge
histories can be informative, even when a member-ancestor is not
specifically mentioned. "Three Centuries of Freemasonry in New
Hampshire" by Gerald D. Foss (974.2 F79T) provides the history of the
Masons in that state, and also has a biographical section which lists
education, business and lodge information for select members, but no
family information. On a more local level, John K. Gott's "One hundred
years of Cochran Lodge, 1899-1999: Cochran Lodge No. 271 A.F. & A.M.,
The Plains, Virginia" (975.5 G712ON) includes not only names of
members, visitors, and information on members' funerals, but also such
notes as the one on 24 April 1906, when $25 was allocated to be sent
"for the relief of California sufferers."

State registers and compilations vary widely. Desmond Walls Allen's
series "Abstracts from Masonic Records, Grand Lodge of Arkansas,
1862-1879" (976.7 AL45APA to APC) is typical, with proceedings and
minutes of meetings, rosters of lodges, and listings of deaths. She
also published "Masonic Death Records from the Grand Lodge of
Arkansas" in two volumes covering 1920-1990 (976.7 AL45AMB and AP).
"Tennessee Templars" (976.8 R39T) is an 1883 register of names with
biographical sketches, but only lists whether a member is married or
unmarried. The "Proceedings of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Free
and Most Accepted Masons of the State of Indiana, 1962" (977.2 F87P)
includes appendices detailing persons granted to visit lodges in other
jurisdictions, a list of memorial contributions to the Masonic Home
Foundation, enumeration of fifty-year buttons issued, and age and date
of arrival for members in the Masonic Home. "Mississippi Masonic Death
Records 1819-1919," by Thomas C. S-Wixon (976.2 SW6M) lists the
deceased's name, year of death, and location, and has a few full page

Also among the Genealogy Center's holdings are a few volumes on the
Eastern Star, the Masonic women's auxiliary. One such is the May 1958
issue of "The Star-Dust Bulletin of Indiana" (977.202 IN3ES), the
publication of the Indiana Grand Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star.
Included in this issue are biographies and photographs of members,
current events in the chapters, and obituaries. Another, "Centennial
book, 1867-1967," about the Order of the Eastern Star, Grand Chapter
of Michigan (977.4 OR2), includes past state and chapter officers,
reminiscences, and long time members.

Even if the Genealogy Center does not have records for a specific
state or local lodge, examining a few of these volumes can help a
researcher know what type of records might be available at a local

Countdown to Conference 2007!
by Elaine M. Kuhn
The month of February may have been a cold and snowy one for many
folks, but it didn't slow down the researchers coming to the newly
re-opened Genealogy Center! Thousands of visitors have passed through
the Center since the library re-opened on January 27th, and the
majority of remarks about the new area can be boiled down to one word
– "Wow!"

The chilly climate also hasn't slowed down the plans for the FGS/ACPL
2007 Conference to be held in Fort Wayne on August 15th through the
18th.  The conference program is set and what a fascinating lineup of
presentations it is!  There will literally be something of interest to
everyone who is engaged in genealogy and family history research. To
see the roster of speakers and the topics they will cover, go to the
conference website at

Have you made your hotel reservation for the conference yet? If not,
you might want to make that a priority on your "to-do" list in the
coming weeks. Rooms are going quickly! Two of the FGS/ACPL Conference
hotels, the Hilton Fort Wayne at the Grand Wayne Center, and the
Holiday Inn Hotel Downtown are now sold out. Do not despair - there
are still plenty of lodging facilities within a short distance of the
Grand Wayne Center. To see a list of other conference lodging in the
Fort Wayne area, go to the website at Additional lodging information
is available at the Fort Wayne/Allen County Convention and Visitors
Bureau website at Also try
some of the major travel reservation websites such as Travelocity
(, Expedia (, or
Priceline (

March Madness – Genealogy Style
Programs in the month of March you definitely will want to add to your calendar!

"Creating a Family History Website 101," Monday March 12, 2007, 2P.
Presented by:  Mary D. Kraeszig.  Computer Classroom, First Floor,
Main Library, 900 Library Plaza. Designed for genealogists having
little or no experience with web site design (HTML/XML), this
introductory class will enable you to find free or inexpensive web
hosting for your site, and create/upload a basic family history
website, including formatted descendant charts, photographs, document
images, etc.

"Using," Tuesday March 13, 2007, 2P.
Presented by:  Delia Cothrun Bourne.  Computer Classroom, First Floor,
Main Library, 900 Library Plaza. This talk will provide search
instructions and tips for Ancestry's many databases, such as census
and passenger records, and the historic newspaper collection.

"Using," Wednesday March 14, 2007, 10A.
Presented by:  Elaine Kuhn.  Computer Classroom, First Floor, Main
Library, 900 Library Plaza. This presentation will cover searching and
printing from Heritage Quest Online, which includes federal censuses,
Revolutionary War pension files, books, Freedman's Bank information,
and the Periodical Source Index.

"Brick Wall Climbing," Thursday March 15, 2007, 2:30P
Presented by:  Shirley Husband.  Meeting Room B, First Floor, Main
Library, 900 Library Plaza. Shirley will share the method used to
overcome her unique brick wall.

"Using Irish Manuscript Collections,"  Friday March 16, 2007, 2P.
Presented by:  Steve Myers.  Orientation Room, First Floor, Main
Library, 900 Library Plaza. Learn to successfully utilize Irish
manuscript sources through a survey of indexes and finding aids, and
an examination of the types of records available.

"Beginners Workshop," Saturday March 17, 2007, 9:30A to 12N.
Presented by:  Marjorie Graham.  Orientation Room, First Floor, Main
Library, 900 Library Plaza. Organizational tools and proven methods to
get you started on the right track to successful searching.

All sessions are free but you do need to register.  Contact the
Genealogy Center at 260-421-1225 or Genealogy [at] ACPL.Info to register
for any, or ALL of these events.

There is no charge to attend these presentations, but registration is
required. Contact the Genealogy Center at (260) 421-1225 or send an
email to Genealogy [at] ACPL.Info to sign up.

Preservation Tip of the Month
by Becky Schipper
A great resource for librarians, genealogists, and others interested
in preservation and conservation is Northeast Document Conservation
Center. Their website <> has a Q & A section that covers
the most common questions asked on the subject. They also provide
imaging services, workshops, preservation resources, and disaster

Area Calendar of Events
Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana (ACGSI)
Refreshments at 6:30, meeting at 7:00. Questions: contact Katie Bloom
kathrynabloom [at]
Wednesday, March 14, 2007, Main Library at 900 Library Plaza: Ronald
Darrah will speak about using maps in genealogy.

Computer Users Group--Third Wednesday of each month.
Questions? Contact Marge Graham, gramar57 [at] or 672-2585.

Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) "First Wednesday" program
is suspended for January of 2007 during the Genealogy Center's major
move to its newly expanded location at 900 Library Plaza.  Look for
them on February 7, 2007 in the new department from 9A – 7pm.  Expert
help from members of the DAR in becoming a member of that organization

Driving Directions to the Library
Wondering how to get to the library?  Our location is 900 Library
Plaza, Fort Wayne, Indiana, on the block bordered on the south by
Washington Boulevard, the west by Ewing Street, the north by Webster
Street, and the east by the Library Plaza, formerly Webster Street.
We would enjoy having you visit the Genealogy Department.

To get directions from your exact location to 900 Library Plaza, Fort
Wayne, Indiana, visit this link at MapQuest:

From the South
Exit Interstate 69 at exit 102.  Drive east on Jefferson Boulevard
into downtown. Turn left on Ewing Street. The Library is one block
north, at Ewing Street and Washington Boulevard.

Using US 27:
US 27 turns into Lafayette Street. Drive north into downtown. Turn
left at Washington Boulevard and go five blocks. The Library will be
on the right.

From the North
Exit Interstate 69 at exit 112.  Drive south on Coldwater Road, which
merges into Clinton Street.  Continue south on Clinton to Washington
Boulevard. Turn right on Washington and go three blocks. The Library
will be on the right.

From the West
Using US 30:
Drive into town on US 30.  US 30 turns into Goshen Road.  Coming up to
an angled street (State Street.) make an angled left turn.  Turn right
on Wells Street.  Go south on Wells to Wayne Street.  Turn left on
Wayne Street.  The Library will be in the second block on the right.

Using US 24:
After crossing under Interstate 69, follow the same directions as from
the South.

From the East
Follow US 30/then 930 into and through New Haven, under an overpass
into downtown Fort Wayne.  You will be on Washington Blvd. when you
get into downtown.  Library Plaza will be on the right.

Parking at the Library
At the Library, underground parking can be accessed off of Wayne
Street. Other library parking lots are at Washington and Webster, and
Wayne and Webster. Hourly parking is $1 per hour with a  $7 maximum.
ALPC card holders may use their cards validate the parking ticket in
the Great Hall of the Library. Out of county residents may purchase a
subscription card with proof of identification and residence. The
current fee for an Individual Subscription Card is $65.

Public lots are located at the corner of Ewing and Wayne Streets ($1
each for the first two half-hours, $1 per hour after, with a $4 per
day maximum) and the corner of Jefferson Boulevard and Harrison Street
($3 per day).

Street (metered) parking on Ewing and Wayne Streets. On the street you
plug the meters 8am – 5pm, weekdays only.  It is free to park on the
street after 5pm and on the weekends.

Visitor center/Grand Wayne Center garage at Washington and Clinton
Streets. This is the Hilton Hotel parking lot that also serves as a
day parking garage.  For hourly parking, 7am – 11 pm, charges are .50
for the first 45 minutes, then $1.00 per hour.  There is a flat $2.00
fee between 5pm and 11pm.

Genealogy Center Queries
The Historical Genealogy Department hopes you find this newsletter
interesting.  Thank you for subscribing.  We cannot, however, answer
personal research emails written to the e-zine address.  The
department houses a Research Center that makes photocopies and
conducts research for a fee.

If you have a general question about our collection, or are interested
in the Research Center, please telephone the library and speak to a
librarian who will be glad to answer your general questions or send
you a research center form.  Our telephone number is 260-421-1225.  If
you'd like to email a general information question about the
department, please email: Genealogy [at] ACPL.Info.

This electronic newsletter is published by the Allen County Public
Library's Historical Genealogy Department, and is intended to
enlighten readers about genealogical research methods as well as
inform them about the vast resources of the Allen County Public
Library.  We welcome the wide distribution of this newsletter and
encourage readers to forward it to their friends and societies.  All
precautions have been made to avoid errors.  However, the publisher
does not assume any liability to any party for any loss or damage
caused by errors or omissions, no matter the cause.

To subscribe to Genealogy Gems, simply use your browser to go to the
website: Scroll down toward the bottom
of the first screen where it says, "Enter Your Email Address to
Subscribe to "Genealogy Gems."  Enter your email address in the yellow
box and click on "Subscribe." You will be notified with a confirmation

If you do not want to receive this e-zine, please follow the link at
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Curt Witcher, editor pro-tem
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